A greener China could put $45 billion of Australian coal projects in the red

Given Tony Abbott and Sloppy Joe Hockey’s alleged stance against corporate welfare, we can only assume our moronic government won’t increase coal mining subsidies to bail their billionaire buddies out at the expense of our disabled, indigenous and low paid workers…… as if.


China’s insatiable demand for energy has triggered a coal-mine building boom in Australia, which now supplies China with a third of its coal. With plans for 10 massive Australian coal mines worth more than $45 billion under way, investors are counting on China to keep burning the black stuff at a rapid clip to make those projects profitable. But that would a bad bet.

A report released today (pdf) predicts prices will fall as China, which consumes half the world’s coal, cuts imports to fight pollution and meet climate-change goals. As a result, says the report, Australia’s new mega-mines are likely to become money-losers. Even current coal prices would already leave four of the planned mines in the red, according to the study by the University of Oxford’s Stranded Assets Program.

coal pricesThe report is the latest example of a new focus on so-called stranded assets—multibillion-dollar fossil fuel projects that could…

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